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2021 NFL power rankings heading into Week 8

We use point differential against the spread to see where the value lies in our Week 8 NFL power rankings.

Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on from the huddle against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The NFL has wrapped up another week of action and we’re over a third of the way through the season. Week 7 opened with the Browns winning an ugly one over the Broncos and it closed with the Saints edging out the Seahawks in another ugly one. In between, well, it was not a weekend for pretty football.

Whatever the case, now that the week is a wrap, it’s time for our latest power rankings. We’re trying something a little different. Below we’ve ranked the teams based on spread differential. We took the pre-game point spread at DraftKings Sportsbook and added in the point differential from the game. For example, the Texans closed as 20-point underdogs against the Cardinals and lost the game by 26 points. For the Texans spread differential, we subtracted 26 from +20. For the Cardinals spread differential, we added 26 to -20.

Point differential is a helpful tool for figuring out the best and worst teams. However, point spread can offer a little more context to how good or bad teams might be. This is a pretty fluid list, but some of the top teams are settling in. The Cardinals, Bills, Bengals, and Cowboys are all circulating consistently in the top of the rankings while the Dolphins, Jets, and Washington are at the bottom.

The most intriguing teams are probably the Chiefs and Packers. Kansas City is struggling, and given some of their sizable spreads, it’s not a surprise they slip to the bottom of this list after their 3-4 start. On the other hand, the Packers are perpetually making up ground from that blowout loss to the Saints. That loss looks crazier and crazier each week, but the outlier leaves them still in the bottom third.

NFL Power Rankings ahead of Week 8

2021 NFL power rankings, Week 8

Rk Team Record Spread differential Point differential LW
Rk Team Record Spread differential Point differential LW
1 Arizona Cardinals 7-0 +81.5 +111 1
2 Buffalo Bills 4-2 +67.5 +105 2
3 Cincinnati Bengals 5-2 +66.5 +61 4
4 Dallas Cowboys 5-1 +53.0 +59 3
5 Indianapolis Colts 3-4 +33.0 +20 9
6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-1 +28.5 +86 12
7 Tennessee Titans 5-2 +28.0 +29 15
8 New Orleans Saints 4-2 +28.0 +39 6
9 New England Patriots 3-4 +22.5 +39 18
10 Los Angeles Rams 6-1 +20.5 +61 7
11 Las Vegas Raiders 5-2 +17.5 +14 11
12 Minnesota Vikings 3-3 +4.0 +10 13
13 Philadelphia Eagles 2-5 +1.5 -26 10
14 Baltimore Ravens 5-2 +1.0 +23 5
15 Los Angeles Chargers 4-2 +1.0 -2 14
16 Denver Broncos 3-4 -3.0 +13 17
17 Carolina Panthers 3-4 -7.5 0 8
18 Seattle Seahawks 2-5 -10.0 -12 19
19 Detroit Lions 0-7 -10.5 -72 23
20 New York Giants 2-5 -13.0 -41 30
21 Green Bay Packers 6-1 -14.0 +22 25
22 Pittsburgh Steelers 3-3 -14.0 -15 21
23 Cleveland Browns 4-3 -16.5 +8 20
24 Houston Texans 1-6 -25.0 -106 24
25 Chicago Bears 3-4 -28.0 -61 16
26 San Francisco 49ers 2-4 -29.5 -14 22
27 Jacksonville Jaguars 1-5 -31.5 -56 28
28 Atlanta Falcons 3-3 -32.0 -41 29
29 Washington 2-5 -46.5 -64 31
30 Kansas City Chiefs 3-4 -50.5 -15 26
31 New York Jets 1-5 -60.0 -95 27
32 Miami Dolphins 1-6 -62.5 -80 32